CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Jan. 12, 2010: Some 2.2 million jobs were lost in Latin America and the Caribbean alone last year.
That`s according to the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency. The ILO says the global financial crisis affected jobs across the two regions as it did in the U.S., reversing five straight years of falling unemployment.
The regions urban unemployment rate rose to 8.4 percent last year from 7.5 percent in 2008, the ILO said. The ILO`s 2009 Latin American and the Caribbean Labor Review is based on household surveys and official government statistics in 14 countries.
The ILO`s regional director, Jean Maninat, warned that job creation will lag during the recovery period, with the number of unemployed likely hovering around 18 million.
He urged the region`s governments to make employment a central policy issue.
`This crisis shows us quite clearly that the invisible hand of the market is not strong or efficient enough to develop sustainable businesses or to create the employment levels we need,` Maninat said at a news conference in Peru.
The report comes as the United Nations` regional economic commission, CEPAL, projects that regional economic growth dropped to a projected 1.8 percent in 2009. But CEPAL claims that recovering demand for commodities like oil and copper should boost growth to 4.1 percent in 2010.